Critics Consensus

Hardy Rises, but Venom Sinks Like a Brock

Plus, A Star Is Born is Certified Fresh.

by | October 4, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we’ve got a persuasive PSA against the dangers of touching alien goo (Venom, starring Tom Hardy and Riz Ahmed) and a celestial body reincarnated (A Star Is Born, starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga). What are the critics saying?

Venom (2018) 29%

Filmmakers are always faced with a tricky balance when attempting to adapt comics properties — the reason these characters make such appealing targets for adaptations is that they’re well known to a built-in fanbase, but the source material is tough to film without taking into account decades of increasingly complex stories. That’s a big bugaboo with Venom, which seeks to bring a wildly popular Spider-Man anti-hero to the big screen without tackling wide swaths of his (admittedly quite weird) origin story — or even involving the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler at all. That isn’t impossible, but it’s definitely difficult, and unfortunately, critics say the folks behind this movie weren’t up to the task. Starring Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, the down-on-his-luck journalist who finds himself unwillingly bonded with the titular bloodthirsty alien symbiote, Venom struggles to nail down its world-building elements while maintaining a tough tonal balance. It’s one part split personality comedy, one part brutal action thriller, and one part would-be superhero franchise starter — and unsurprisingly, reviews describe it as pretty much a complete mess. Fans of the character have been waiting years to see him get his proper cinematic due, but most of them will likely be left wanting after this.

A Star Is Born (2018) 89%

Last week’s updated Little Women didn’t exactly strike a chord with critics, but the pundits don’t always reject new versions of repeatedly remade movies. For our latest evidence, here’s A Star Is Born, which sees debuting director Bradley Cooper behind the lens for the latest take on a tale that first arrived in theaters in 1937 — and again in 1954, then yet again in 1976. You’d think there probably wouldn’t be much left to bring to the story, but this update proves that assumption delightfully wrong: critics say Cooper proves a deft hand in the director’s chair, and his chemistry opposite Gaga — whose own performance has prompted a chorus of cries echoing the film’s title — is more than enough to sell their characters’ Star-crossed romance all by itself. This project languished in development hell for years, but the extra time hasn’t hurt at all; reviews say the story of a struggling singer (Gaga) who falls in with a recording artist battling personal demons (Cooper) remains effortlessly absorbing in the right hands, and it’s in some excellent ones here. Expect to see a lot of sniffling patrons streaming out of A Star Is Born screenings this weekend — and don’t be surprised if this movie ends up being a big part of the conversation come awards season.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

Tag Cloud

Holidays Lucasfilm justice league Biopics Video Games anime Pride Month PBS comiccon Best and Worst political drama finale Spring TV Mary Tyler Moore GIFs Action theme song Cannes National Geographic nature doctor who Freeform MSNBC Musical Creative Arts Emmys Musicals Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt BBC America Sony Pictures Premiere Dates Star Trek The CW MTV comic Chilling Adventures of Sabrina television LGBT San Diego Comic-Con Elton John E3 Pirates TV FOX TCA 2017 Western RT History Photos Interview Calendar TV Land FX Sundance Now YouTube Red 21st Century Fox festivals adventure El Rey Trophy Talk TIFF natural history Masterpiece mockumentary Country TCA Netflix mutant History The Arrangement Sundance Mystery Logo Superheroes Spectrum Originals dragons Martial Arts Food Network Film Festival CBS All Access war DC Comics jamie lee curtis Extras LGBTQ zombie spinoff romance USA Election 007 New York Comic Con strong female leads Reality Competition anthology APB Trailer RT21 TLC CMT Black Mirror Spike sitcom Ellie Kemper Awards Tour psycho 2019 MCU period drama Kids & Family Marvel Rock Walt Disney Pictures Apple OWN Showtime Comedy 2015 Mudbound witnail space Fox News dramedy politics Trivia Writers Guild of America Superheroe ESPN Opinion unscripted Countdown Disney Channel FXX Shudder Teen true crime Winter TV Fall TV Reality Fantasy Comedy Central Epix police drama Amazon teaser The Witch Star Wars TruTV Summer Mary Poppins Returns GLAAD Pop Paramount Network singing competition Winners Comics on TV Podcast boxoffice Valentine's Day vampires Rocky based on movie Mindy Kaling Starz NYCC golden globes dceu psychological thriller what to watch composers Animation Adult Swim Nickelodeon casting transformers docudrama Toys social media richard e. Grant Infographic thriller Cartoon Network E! Acorn TV Music Brie Larson Ovation sports HBO 20th Century Fox USA Network Box Office Vudu GoT SundanceTV cats Certified Fresh Sneak Peek Horror IFC zombies cops toy story dc spider-man Tarantino CW Seed First Look 2016 Rocketman DirecTV Women's History Month Year in Review President miniseries travel crime thriller disaster animated DC streaming service PaleyFest green book Nat Geo BBC supernatural Syfy facebook Christmas CNN VH1 biography Comic Book 2018 Schedule Red Carpet Emmys Columbia Pictures spy thriller Sci-Fi cinemax Thanksgiving Mary poppins 2017 Drama serial killer award winner Britbox Super Bowl blaxploitation TCM Set visit TNT harry potter YouTube Premium crime drama diversity Esquire VICE Tomatazos YA Grammys Cosplay SXSW Warner Bros. ITV Tumblr science fiction crime 45 Oscars DGA BET 24 frames Polls and Games Hulu Captain marvel game show Nominations elevated horror Ghostbusters WGN talk show American Society of Cinematographers IFC Films DC Universe discovery sequel adaptation streaming X-Men cooking Watching Series TBS Rom-Com Pixar Character Guide historical drama Pet Sematary aliens binge Paramount hist ABC Family Amazon Prime Crackle Awards A&E Lifetime Anna Paquin technology ratings SDCC Heroines Shondaland Chernobyl Universal cults medical drama Dark Horse Comics Disney CBS Bravo Song of Ice and Fire Stephen King NBC robots Quiz ABC AMC zero dark thirty crossover Lionsgate Marathons See It Skip It